The Second and Last Day of the Great Pageant – The Grand Review of Sherman’s Armies

May 24, 1865 (Thursday) As with the day previous, below you’ll find text pulled from the New York Times describing the second day of the Grand Review. It is accompanied by photographs taken mostly by Matthew Brady. The men who marched from the Ohio to the Tennessee under BUELL, only to march back again; whoRead More

Johnston Finally Able to Surrender His Army

April 26, 1865 (Wednesday) General Sherman had apparently overstepped his bounds, wishing to treat with the entire Confederacy rather than simply Joe Johnston’s army. In his mind, he wanted to wrap the entire war up in one fell swoop and thought that the capitulation of all the remaining Rebel forces, as well as the reestablishmentRead More

Sherman and Johnston Discuss Terms

April 18, 1865 (Tuesday) William Tecumseh Sherman had left City Point in the Richmond area, where he was visiting with General Grant, at the end of the month previous. While Grant pursued Lee’s retreating army, Sherman reorganized and readied his own in Goldsboro, North Carolina to move not against Joe Johnston’s Army of Tennessee atRead More

‘I Fear Now It Will Be Impossible’ – Lee With Nowhere to Turn

March 26, 1865 (Sunday) With the utter failure of the assault upon Fort Stedmen the day previous, General Robert E. Lee had now to consider what was best for his army. But first, he had to explain to President Jefferson Davis why he took the risk of an assault, and why it failed. “I haveRead More

‘I Can Do No More Than Annoy Him’ – Johnston Must Give Up

March 23, 1865 (Thursday) Following the Battle of Bentonville, Joseph Johnston, commanding the Confederate forces, retreated across Mill Creek, into and through the town. Taking up positions a couple of miles beyond the crossing, Jo Wheeler’s cavalry held the bridge until the Federals came near to crossing. By that evening, Johnston’s army was near Smithfield.Read More

‘The Whole Thing Was Done So Quickly’ – Sherman Captures Fayetteville

March 11, 1865 (Saturday) “The advance of the Fourteenth Army Corps last nigth reached Buckhead Creek,” wrote General Henry Slocum in his morning message to Sherman, “where they met the enemy in some force. [Absalom] Baird’s division is now moving from this point. The Twentieth Corps is several miles in rear. I shall soon learnRead More

‘Can Scarcely be More than a Reconnaissance’ – Federals Underestimate the Rebels in NC

March 8, 1865 (Wednesday) “The night of the 7th passed quietly,” recalled Union General Samuel Carter, commanding a division under Jacob Cox. His men were on the left, anchoring themselves along the Dover Road with Southwest River to their front, and British Road to their backs. On their right was Innis Palmer’s division, holding theRead More

‘The Last Point the Enemy Can Make a Stand’ – Cox to Fall Upon Rebel Flank

March 7, 1865 (Tuesday) “On Tuesday, the 7th, the command was in motion,” wrote General Jacob Cox in his memoirs. His division had broken off from James Schofield’s command following the capture of Wilmington. Taking transports and landing near New Berne, they marched inland along the railroad running northwest to Raleigh, via Kinston and Smithville.Read More

Johnston Tries to Think of Something

March 6, 1865 (Monday) Joseph Johnston, now in command of all the Confederate forces in the Carolinas, was concentrating at Fayetteville, North Carolina, in hopes of blocking the path of Sherman’s forces. Johnston’s original proposition was a risky one. He suggested to General Robert E. Lee that half of the Army of Northern Virginia beRead More

Braxton Bragg Retreats Out of Wilmington

February 22, 1865 (Wednesday) It had been a strange past few weeks for Braxton Bragg. With General Robert E. Lee elevated to the General-in-Chief of all the Confederates armies, his position as Davis’ military advisor was made more or less redundant. Through the second week of February, he was in Richmond turning over the officeRead More